Santa Barbara Island Closed Due to Storm Damage
Santa Barbara Island is closed to public access due to damage from the recent storms to the pier landing ladder. The closure will be in place until a new ladder can be fabricated and installed. The closure is expected to last over a month. More »
Public Closures on Santa Barbara Island
Certain Santa Barbara Island trails are closed to all public entry to proctect breeding populations of California brown pelicans. More »
California's Channel Islands are often called "the Galapagos Islands of North America" due to their unique and diverse array of plants and animals, 145 of which are found nowhere else on earth. It is highly unusual to have such an assemblage of "one of a kind" species located in such a small area, a product of evolution in isolation on the islands. Unfortunately this isolation has also made some of these species vulnerable.
One of these is the diminutive island fox. Feral pigs played a pivotal role in the catastrophic decline of island foxes. Formerly rare or occasional visitors, golden eagles took up residence on the islands, sustained by the year-round supply of piglets. Golden eagles predation placed the island fox on the brink of extinction. Feral pigs also destroyed native vegetation, cause widespread erosion, threaten rare plants, and disturbed archeological sites.
Did You Know?
The world's most complete pygmy mammoth specimen was discovered on Santa Rosa Island in 1994. These miniature mammoths, only four to six feet tall, once roamed island grasslands and forests during the Pleistocene.